Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 614685, 5 pages
Review Article

Controversial Issues on EEG after Sleep Deprivation for the Diagnosis of Epilepsy

1Section of Neurology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, I56126 Pisa, Italy
2Neurology Unit of the Department of Neuroscience, AOUP, I56126 Pisa, Italy
3Sleep & Epilepsy Center, Neurocenter of the Civic Hospital (EOC) of Lugano, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland

Received 13 May 2013; Accepted 30 May 2013

Academic Editor: Andrea Romigi

Copyright © 2013 Filippo Sean Giorgi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


EEG after sleep deprivation (SD-EEG) is widely used in many epilepsy centers as an important tool in the epilepsy diagnosis process. However, after more than 40 years of use, there are a number of issues which still need to be clarified concerning its features and role. In particular, the many scientific papers addressing its role in epilepsy diagnosis often differ remarkably from each other in terms of the type of patients assessed, their description and study design. Furthermore, also the length and the type of EEG performed after SD, as well as the length of SD itself, vary dramatically from one study to another. In this paper we shortly underscore the abovementioned differences among the different reports, as well as some interpretations of the findings obtained in the different studies. This analysis emphasizes, if needed, how SD-EEG still represents a crucial step in epilepsy diagnosis, and how additional, controlled studies might further shape its precise diagnostic/prognostic role.